Nadal, Medvedev advance to Rogers Cup final

Daniil Medvedev of Russia serves against compatriot Karen Khachanov. (AFP)
Updated 12 August 2019

Nadal, Medvedev advance to Rogers Cup final

  • Nadal will face eighth-seeded Daniil Medvedev

MONTREAL: Top-seeded defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain advanced to the Rogers Cup final Saturday night when Gael Monfils of France withdrew before their semifinal.

Nadal will face eighth-seeded Daniil Medvedev, a 6-1, 7-6 (6) winner over sixth-seeded Karen Khachanov in the all-Russian first semifinal.

“It’s extra special,” Medvedev said about facing Nadal for the first time. “I played Novak (Djokovic) and Roger (Federer) a few times. It’s different ... there is some extra pressure.”

Nadal won last year in Toronto for his fourth title in the event. He has 82 singles victories, winning the French Open in June for his second title of the year.

Monfils, seeded 16th, outlasted 10th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) in a match suspended Friday night because of lightning. Monfils finally finished off Agut after a rain delay Saturday, but battled a sore left ankle that forced him to pull out of the semifinal.

“I love these matches, night session, Rafa,” Monfils said. “I play tennis for that — for the big moments, big shows. It was safest decision not to play.”

Monfils consulted with his coach about the decision to withdraw.

“He said, ‘You can’t take the risk,’” Monfil said. “I had retired in Wimbledon. I came back. I played this week. I had played a huge match. It was risky to play another match because I could risk hurting myself for real.”

In Toronto, teenager Bianca Andreescu advanced to the Rogers Cup title match with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory over Sofia Kenin on Saturday, becoming the first Canadian in 50 years to make the women’s final.

The 19-year-old Andreescu, from nearby Mississauga, will face Serena Williams on Sunday.

“The crowd will obviously be for her, but it’s really not about that,” Williams said. “It’s just about going out there and playing your great tennis. Luckily, I’ve had some tough crowds in my career, so hopefully I will be used to it.”

Canadians Faye Urban and Vicki Berner played in the 1969 final, with Urban winning the tournament that was played on clay and called the Canadian Open.

“For sure there’s some pressure, but I have nothing to lose, really,” Andreescu said. “We’ll see how it goes. I’m just going to try and stay in the present moment.”

Williams beat Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the second semifinal.

The 37-year-old Williams is ranked 10th and seeded eighth in her first event since losing the Wimbledon final. She won in 2001, 2011 and 2013 — all in Toronto — and has a tournament-record 34 victories in 38 matches. The American won the last of her 72 singles titles in the 2017 Australian Open.

Andreescu is returning from a right shoulder injury that sidelined her since the French Open in May. She won in Indian Wells in March for her first WTA Tour title.


‘Liverpool spirits are high’ despite virus lockdown

Jurgen Klopp
Updated 28 March 2020

‘Liverpool spirits are high’ despite virus lockdown

  • Klopp praised the efforts of Liverpool and other clubs in helping support more vulnerable members of the community during the current crisis

Jurgen Klopp says the mood at Liverpool is upbeat despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, even admitting he has tried to copy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s dance moves to keep himself occupied.
The Premier League leaders were on the verge of their first top-flight title for 30 years when English football was suspended earlier this month.
Klopp said his players’ spirits remained high despite the frustrations of having no football to play and praised the efforts of his backroom staff who are looking after the players’ fitness.
“We spoke a couple of times, we have a really intense, big, big group chat — the whole of Melwood (training ground) are in that,” he said, speaking to the club’s website by videolink from his home.
“The boys are really lively in that, the boys are just interested in what everybody is doing, comments on what everybody is doing — if Ox is on Instagram or whatever.”
Midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain and his girlfriend, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards, performed a dance routine, which she posted on social media.
Teammate James Milner played up to his “boring James Milner” tag by posting a video of himself cutting his grass with a ruler and scissors.
“I didn’t cut the grass but I tried the dance of Ox,” said Klopp. “Not as bad as you probably think. It’s very important in these times that we all show we take this situation seriously, but we are human beings.”

HIGHLIGHT

Jurgen Klopp praises the efforts of Liverpool and other clubs in helping support more vulnerable members of the community during the current crisis. He urges people to abide by the lockdown.

“If the boys do anything on Instagram, as long as it’s in a legal frame I’m overly happy about it — it just shows they are still cheeky and all that stuff,” he added.
Klopp praised the efforts of Liverpool and other clubs in helping support more vulnerable members of the community during the current crisis.
And he urged people to abide by the lockdown.
“The only way to get football back as soon as possible, if that’s what the people want, the more disciplined we are now the earlier we will get, piece by piece by piece, our life back,” Klopp said. “That’s how it is.”
“At one point we will play football again as well, 100 percent,” he added. “I couldn’t wish more for it because of a few really good reasons, how you can imagine. I can’t wait actually, but even I have to be disciplined and I try to be as much as I can.”